Choose your Realtor; choose your charity |

Choose your Realtor; choose your charity


On Wednesday the Summit Association of Realtors hosted its monthly membership meeting, and as part of the meeting, two important organizations were awarded grants from the Colorado Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Foundation, or CARHOF. Butch Elich is a former president of CARHOF, and remains as a leader among the Colorado Association of Realtors as a local CARHOF chairperson. Butch presented two checks for $8,000.00 each to the Summit Housing Authority which funds down payment assistance programs, and to the Advocates for Victims of Assault, which will use the CARHOF grant to fund interim housing opportunities for victims.

CARHOF foundation created by REALTORS® in 1990 for the purpose of promoting safe, decent, and affordable housing for all in Colorado. CARHOF collects interest on escrow accounts and donates the money to nonprofit and public agencies to help[ families with their housing needs. When a Buyer gives earnest money to purchase a house, the Realtor or Title Company with the buyer approval deposits the money into a trust account. Usually, interest cannot be earned on these deposits. However, interest can be earned if an organization exists that uses the money to promote affordable housing in Colorado. The few dollars of interest that accrue on earnest monies while in escrow is pooled together with other interest and in 2007, the effort generated a record-breaking $725,000 from interest on escrow accounts, and donated $617,000 to 92 housing agencies. All but 15% (which is used for administrative costs) goes back to the community to help support homeless shelters, down payment assistance programs, and other housing-related services. CARHOF helps the homeless, victims of domestic violence, first-time homebuyers , victims of natural disasters and more. Beyond grants that are given to housing organizations, CARHOF also gives when there is an immediate need. When there’s a tornado, a fire, a flash flood… CARHOF is there to help. Summit County, with the presentation of the grant checks today, has now exceeded $200,000 in donations. Also, the “2007 Rookie of the Year,” or newest title company with most contributions from escrow accounts is LandAmerica, in Summit County! Congratulations and thanks go to them for their support of this important cause.

Only housing organizations are eligible for funding and they must be based in Colorado with a 501(c)3 status or be a public agency, such as the Summit Housing Authority. Go to for more information about housing assistance programs in Summit County.

The National Association of Realtors is the world’s largest trade association, with a current membership of more than 1.2 million. Nearly all Realtors give a portion of their personal income each year to one or more organizations; to Hurricane Katrina relief or Tsunami recovery; to Little League Baseball or Susan B. Komen; to Troop #1234’s fundraiser for homeless pets to the Class of ’08s senior project. Whether big or small, the Realtor organization is known for giving back to the community.

Unique among charity venues is RE/MAX’s private golf course, the Sanctuary, in Sedalia, Colo. David and Gail Liniger, owners of RE/MAX International, use it strictly for charitable promotions and fund-raisers for various organizations, “And that’s all it’s used for,” accoridng to a company spokesman. Play is by invitation only, and all monies go to the charity sponsoring the event, not to RE/MAX. In fact, Re/Max always writes an additional check to the charity.

Get to know your Realtor, and ask how he or she gives back to the local community, or to the larger community.

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